High Tunnel Planting with Family

Just like normal, plants are being moved from the greenhouse to the high tunnels. but this year things are moving a little differently.

With school canceled and everybody working from home, planting becomes a family affair. The two-year-old loves it, and the baby doesn’t know any better. The jury is still out with the big kids on if they like working with mom and dad on the farm this much!

The first high tunnel is planted with broccoli and call Kohlrabi. In the next tunnel we planted cauliflower and kohlrabi.

Ryan and Lukas finishes of the second high tunnel as they seeded radishes.

We’ve got lots of goodies coming along in the tunnels and greenhouse – carrots, peas, kohlrabi, lettuce, radishes, turnips, and beets. As soon as they are ready, we will share when and how you can start getting your fresh dose of Pekarek’s Produce on Facebook, the blog, and our newsletter.

Do you want to be the very first to know when produce is available? Sign up for our weekly newsletter here!

Carrots from Pekarek’s Produce in March!

Folks, did you know that we have carrots right now! Among the other goodies we have growing in the greenhouses and tunnels that should be ready in the next few weeks – we have carrots available right now!

And while it is joyful to have fresh, crunchy, sweet, delicious carrots in the early part of March, it is not as much fun to wash them. And although there are a few warm days here and there, it is inevitible that it will be cold and cloudy when we wash carrots. Oh – and machines don’t work as well in March as when they do in Spring. So here’s a picture for you: it’s 40 degrees out, cloudy, and Katie is covered in water while washing carrots. It sounds like a complaint, but it’s actually kind of fun. It’s nice to just have things growing and be working outside.

Want to learn about why the carrot you ate today may not have the nutrition of a carrot your grandma ate 50 years ago and how that may be connected to soil health? Then sign up for our newsletter!

Your Farmers,

Ryan, Katie, Jacob, Margret, Michael, Lukas, and Grace

What’s growing in February?

This time of year, we often get the question: “what do you have growing?” And the answer is usually pretty conditional.

We try to get seeds started in the greenhouse around mid-February every year. But this year, like most, we got seeds going when there was a nice, sunny snap of weather and then we got a frigid snap. And while we heat the greenhouse, the furnace can only keep up with so much.

So, it’s Leap Day 2020, and of the 500+ cucumber seeds we started, only 130 or so are up. So we will seed some more today but give them a different starting home— the house.

Now, a lot of other things are growing: turnips, radishes, lettuce, spinach, carrots, and onions. Some in the greenhouse, some under plastic (but not heated) in the high tunnels. Next week will work to fill the rest of the greenhouse with trays and plant more in the high tunnels.

As for the field, there’s a long time until we plant outside. In our experience, patience is a virtue…. and one cold day in March or April can wreak havoc on small plants. So we wait to plant, but there is oh so much to do besides planting – a story for another time.

If you want to enjoy the fruits (and vegetables) of our labor, be sure to check o out the weekly vegetable subscription! Or get even more veggie info by joining our newsletter!

Shoveling makes my back hurt! (And makes yummy veggies too)

So I woke up this morning and the pain between my shoulder blades reminded me how thankful I am that i could help Ryan in the high tunnel. We were able to enjoy some of the nice sunny weather and get the high tunnel (we call this one “number 6) ready to plant.

After the last crop came out this fall, Ryan did some basic prep work to the soil – tilling, adding organic matter, etc. And now, we were able take our shovels, takes, and a nifty contraption that involves me carrying a cinder block, to build some raised beds.

Put a cinder block on this and it becomes a really useful tool! Just heavy.

It’s a beautiful picture right now, but it will be even better when the carrots, beets, radishes, and lettuce get come out of the ground.

We can’t wait to share all of this yummy goodness with you this spring! Only a few weeks and it’ll be here 🙂

He planted a salad for me!

It’s February 12th, and the weather is supposed to get really cold today! We’ve been spoiled by the sun and some warmer days, so we’ve been busy getting to work on the farm!

Well, the other day, I got a nice text and picture from Ryan that said “I planted you a salad.” If you’re like me and trying to eat healthy, just waiting for more fresh fruits and veggies that Ryan grows… you know how exciting this is!

Last week we planted a few trays of lettuce, spinach, radishes, and turnips for our family in the greenhouse. But this time he planted enough in the high tunnel for your families too.

We can’t wait to see all of our extended Pekarek’s Produce family again!

February feels like spring…for at least one day

Wow! Just wow!

We’ve had a relatively mild winter so far, but the clouds and the constant sheet of snow with ice has started to make me feel the winter duldrums. We have enjoyed the sledding but I was so happy this weekend to get a couple of days with sun and warm weather! It’s amazing what playing outside does for our family.

It’s a little bit early for us to get moving in the greenhouse, but we just couldn’t help the feeling that we needed to go plant something. So we decided to plant a few trays of vegetables for our house. We got spinach, lettuce, turnips and radishes planted. These are pretty much favorites for my kiddos… especially the turnips.

The real reason though to get in the greenhouse, was to start playing with dirt! Yes, we grow vegetables, yes this was us trying to remember what spring is like, but it really was just about playing in the dirt.

2019 Weekly Vegetable Subscription – Week 5

Summer is Here!

Summer crops are arriving very soon with the warm weather. Tomatoes are starting to turn. There are small zucchini and summer squash hanging on the plants. There are even silks coming out of the first variety of sweet corn, called ‘Sweetness.’ 2019 Week 5 veggiesEarly sweet corn plants are almost comical – barely 3 feet tall with an ear shank that touch the dirt. Watermelon vines are reaching off the plastic and out into row middles.

The farm looks pretty good. We bought a new cultivator this winter – free shipping sale sealed the deal! I should have bought that thing ten years ago. It is a specialty machine called a basketweeder. Most of our other cultivators are repurposed from corn and soybean machines. This new one is really a gem.

The cauliflower and cabbage that was seeded last week is up and looking good. We will continue seeding more of these crops this week and in a few more days. Yesterday we planted our last eggplant and bell peppers for the year. The final seeding of muskmelon went into the ground. We also seeded more pickling cucumbers, zucchini, yellow squash, red beets, and orange carrots. There is a lot happening right now!

Your Farmers,

Ryan, Katie, Jacob, Margret, Michael, Lukas, Joe, Andy, Al, Ben, Rebecca, Elizabeth, Anthony, Caleb, Brayden, Parker, Larkin

2019 Weekly Vegetable Subscription – Week 4

Things are coming along!

2019 weekly vegetable subscription- week 4

20190619-week-4-veg-sub-list-1.png

We are making the shift from picking in the greenhouse and high tunnels to the field.  Beets and carrots are almost ready outside.   Broccoli and kohlrabi are going strong outside.  Peas are coming from outside.  The peas in the buildings have given their all and what’s left was fed to the pigs.

The cool weather has been enjoyable.  A guy forgets to take his water jug when it is this nice.  The cool season crops are thriving – potatoes, cabbage, beets, carrots, etc.  On warm, sunny days the warm season tomatoes, melons, and squashes show more life, but when its jacket weather, they sit idly by.

2019 strawberry picking crew
2019 Strawberry Picking Crew

 

The crew is beginning to gel. We’ve got new folks learning why you were taught in high school physics to run a scale.  All of the boxes we pack for wholesale orders have to be weighed. The new guys don’t know why we have to use the “Tare” button on the scale.  I guess we should have all paid more attention in class!

We started seeding two days ago in the greenhouse for crops that won’t be harvested until late September and October.  Planning is key.

 

Your Farmers,

Ryan, Katie and Crew

2019 Weekly Vegetable Subscription – Week 2

STILL No Irrigation Needed!

Welcome back.  The crew is starting to come together.  I’ve got several new recruits that we have not been able to get out to the farm because it is too muddy.  They are all anxious to get out and onto the time clock, but Mother Nature has kept a lid on us.  I would venture to say that most crops look good to excellent in spite of the weather.

Weekly vegetable subscription week 2
Weekly Vegetable Subscription Week 2

Mechanics of week 2 and beyond: Bring back your empty box and drop it at your pick up site.  Take the new full box home and enjoy.  If you forget to bring your box back one week, don’t worry.  We have thousands on the farm.  Just bring back two boxes the next week.

2019 week 2 list

 

 

 

On Sunday, Ryan got out in the afternoon and cultivated (killed weeds!) everything that was big enough to handle a machine passing through.  This included sweet corn, potatoes, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, radish, beets, carrots, peas, green beans, and probably something I’ve forgotten.  We try not to work on Sunday, but with another 1.60” of rain on Monday morning, it was a good decision.

Please enjoy the salads you will be making with the box this week.  One of our sons will take a large lettuce leaf and roll ham and cheese into it for a simple lettuce wrap.  May your basements stay dry and the veggies grow larger.

Your Farmers,

Ryan, Katie, and Crew

 

2019 Weekly Vegetable Subscription – Week 1

No Irrigation Needed!

Welcome to the first week of the Pekarek’s Produce Weekly Vegetable Subscription. We are glad to see our returning friends and have new ones on board.CSA W1 2019

Let’s talk about how this will work. Each week you pickup a box of produce with your name on it. Take it home and enjoy! The following week you bring the empty box back and take another box of produce with your name on it and eat that. Not the box, the vegetables.

Each week we will have a newsletter that accompanies the box. It will be available on our blog at pekareksproduce.wordpress.com and printed in your box. We will tell you a little bit about what is going on around the farm and what vegetables are in the box. Some week’s we will have vegetables in the box which you are not familiar with and will try to give you some suggestions on how to eat them. We have a recipe section on the blog with some very simpPeasle ways to fix the vegetables we grow.

I’m sure you’ve all noticed by now, but it has been a rainy, muddy, hailing mess this spring. Most things in the field are fairing ok, but the timing of planting, weeding, and harvesting is getting pretty tricky. On the other hand, with 6 inches of rain in the last 6 days, we don’t have to irrigate! Enjoy the first week – great things to come!

Your Farmers,

Ryan, Katie, and Crew